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IN Disaster Unemployment Insurance + PA Returns to In-Person Hearings + Fraud Watch

INDIANA – Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available in 12 Counties
Individuals and businesses in the areas impacted by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes on March 31 and April 1, 2023, are now eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits. Applications must be received by May 22, 2023. Impacted counties are Allen, Benton, Clinton, Grant, Howard, Johnson, Lake, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Sullivan, and White.

DUA, which is an unemployment insurance benefit made available after a disaster, is only available to individuals who:
• Have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits from any state, or do not qualify for unemployment benefits.
• Worked or were self-employed or scheduled to begin work or self-employment in the disaster area.
• Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster.
• Establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.
• Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster.
• Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.

Individuals can apply for DUA at Uplink Claimant Self Service. Once denied for regular benefits, individuals can then apply for DUA. Click the “fill out this form” link on the DUA website to apply and upload the completed forms.

PENNSYLVANIA – In Person Hearings
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania, along with most other states, switched from in-person UC appeal hearings to telephone hearings. While most states have continued offering phone hearings as the standard, PA has been gradually switching back to in-person hearings and now most hearings are being scheduled in-person. Employers may request a change to a telephone hearing, but the parties involved must provide a compelling reason for the request and requests should be made in writing as soon as possible prior to the hearing date. If you need any assistance in requesting a change in venue, please reach out to your Thomas & Company hearing representative as soon as you receive the notice.

Thomas & Company continually monitors new unemployment claims for fraud, and we have seen an increase in fraud cases primarily in the state of Washington over the past month. We encourage our clients to remain vigilant about potential identity theft fraud cases in all states. If you receive an unemployment claim for an individual and you do not have separation information, we urge you to contact their manager or the individual directly to verify that the claim is valid. If the individual did not file for benefits, please report this to Thomas & company so we can notify the state. You can provide the impacted individual with information on steps they should take by sharing this article Identity Theft Fraud: Recommended Actions provides detailed information on the steps an individual should take to report fraud and protect their identity.

Michele Heckmann

Author Michele Heckmann

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